Listening to the Waves: part 2

09:00 am
19:00 pm
Waikanae Baptist Church Hall
Te Moana Road

A workshop for writers of prose (fiction, memoir, essays or other non-fiction).

What if you thought of your sentences as waves and your paragraphs as sets of waves caused by the same wind? What if you thought of your prose as a song? This is a two-day workshop about tuning in to the sound and rhythm of your sentences and paragraphs as part of the craft of story-telling. There will be lots of reading aloud, listening to your own and other voices, giving and receiving feedback from other participants and a bit of drawing.

The aim is to encourage you to use sound and rhythm to make your sentences and paragraphs more pleasing to readers and give you some practical ideas about sound that you can use at home when you are revising your work. All story telling has its roots in the oral tradition – someone with a tale to tell and an audience. So how does a story teller persuade people to stop what they are doing and listen? How do they hold the audience’s attention, show them what matters, pull on their heartstrings and make them remember what they have heard? Story-tellers in the oral tradition use patterns of sound and rhythm. We will read some old stories, some contemporary fiction and non-fiction stories and maybe a song out loud and listen to the way writers use sound and make rhythms with their sentences. Then we will bring those ideas over to our own writing. You’ll write some new work in the workshop then, at home, practice reading your prose out loud to hear its sound and rhythm. When you read your work out loud, you will find out about your habits of sentence structure and where the sentences are hard to read.

You’ll get feedback from the group to give you a reader’s perspective. With these ideas in mind you can practice harnessing sound, rhythm and repetition to help your prose carry your ideas more powerfully and give the reader more pleasure.

Between the two workshop days participants will use writing they did in class to make a draft to develop on the second workshop day.

On Day Two you will need to bring enough copies of your draft for the class.

Taught by Lynn Jenner.

Lynn Jenner writes essays and poetry. She teaches short courses on writing memoir and writing essays, mentors writers and assesses manuscripts. She has taught poetry at Whitireia and life writing at Massey. Lynn has a PhD in Creative Writing from Victoria University. Lynn’s second book, "Lost and Gone Away" is a hybrid memoir that explores loss across time and distance and the ethics of the search itself. It was a finalist in the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Her first book, "Dear Sweet Harry", won the NZSA Jessie MacKay Best First Book of Poetry prize in 2010. "Peat", Lynn’s collection of essays and poems about New Zealand poet Charles Brasch and the Kāpiti Expressway, will be published in July 2019. You can read and listen to some of Lynn’s work on her author website

Limited to 12 participants.

Find out more: or to reserve your space contact Kirsten Le Harivel at